Project 52

Assignment 37: Hometown Hero

At the risk of giving my brother-in-law, Pete, a big(ger) head, I asked him to pose for my latest 52 week project assignment: photographing a local hero for a regional magazine.  Pete has been a volunteer firefighter since he was a teenager, and has held most positions in the firehouse, including Chief a few years back.  Pete has also been a police officer for several years, so I gave him the choice of what uniform to wear.  He preferred to be photographed as a fireman, and frankly, that was my preference too.

We both had busy weekends, so we met early Sunday morning at the firehouse.  After a look around, and ruling out a shot descending the fire pole because Christmas decorations surrounded the base of the pole (apparently they don't use it anymore), we settled on a shot next to one of the trucks.  Pete pulled the middle truck out of the station so we had a bit more room to work. 


While he put on his uniform, I set up my lights.  When I work on location, I use speedlights, mostly because they are portable, but between the triggers, the lightstands, and the umbrella holders that hold the flashhead and the umbrella to the stand, it takes a few minutes to get assembled.  I began to worry that if there was a fire, I wouldn't have enough time to get all my gear out of the way before I was surrounded by firemen.  Pete put my mind at ease and we got to work. 

To get Pete in the right mindset, we decided that the story for the magazine article would be that he just rescued a small child.  I don't think it worked...he was his usual self, and was looking for more direction from me: smile or serious expression?  Hands in pockets or hands on hips?  We took a bunch of shots, but this is the one I submitted for the assignment.  I liked the gadgets on the side of the truck, his expression and the full length shot.

Next week's assignment is to photograph someone creative with their creation.  I've done a lot of this in my "Hands On" blog posts, but haven't reached out to anyone lately.  We'll see where I land.